The Offline Game

ByBig Pink

The Offline Game

The scandal in which Scottish football has become embroiled is neither equivocal nor complicated. It happened. It is easily seen to have happened. It is certainly not a degree course in nuclear physics. Why then, are simple facts ignored day after day, week after week, by not just the so called purveyors of truth in the media, but the body of the SFA itself, the clubs?

Five years or so ago, systematic cheating by a club involved in Scottish football was uncovered as a consequence of the club slipping into liquidation. This is easily established as fact.

It soon became clear that the authorities had been aware of the situation for as long as it had been going on, but instead of applying their own rules, which would have saved that club from it’s ultimate demise, they chose to enable it and cover it up. Also, backed up by documentary evidence.

As a consequence of the slide towards liquidation, the authorities went into cover-up overdrive to protect their own position. Inquiries based on rhetorical “you’ll have had your tea!” questions were set up to arrive at predetermined conclusions. The post-truth era in Scottish football had begun in earnest.

The claims of corruption which subsequently emerged were dismissed out of hand by the authorities and the press; first by accusations that it was only Paranoid Celtic fans looking to put the boot into Rangers who were behind the claims, then, when it became clear that it was not only Celtic fans who were angered by the way the integrity of the sport had been shattered, the “mad Celtic fans” epithet was amended to “mad online conspiracy theorists”.

The tactic was clear. NEVER address the issue. Attack the messengers. Ridicule them, mock them, demonise them. Despite that, the message of SFM and others was gaining traction and dangerously for the authorities, becoming difficult to ignore.

Last Autumn SFM was approached in confidence by senior figures in two print media outlets. The request was for us to provide them with the facts we had in bullet points – to make it easier for them to reach their audience, an audience they claimed was not sophisticated enough to absorb the detail and minutiae of the story.

The role of journalists is to do exactly that of course. They had access to the same documentary evidence we had (we know this because we gave it to them), but they wanted us to do their job for them? Leaving aside the scant regard I have for football journalists in this country, I don’t believe they are incapable of carrying out that simple task – but we humoured them anyway and provided them with the “SFA Corruption for Dummies” guide that they asked for.

But what were they really up to?

Remembering the RTC thread where he pointed out that genuine whistle-blowers in this saga were reluctant to come forward because of trust issues – they feared any contact with the MSM would result in their details being provided to those they were exposing – we proceeded with some caution. Amusingly, the same three questions was asked at each meeting; “You must know who Rangers Tax Case is?”, “any idea who John James is?” and, “what team do you support?”. (FYI, my answers were, “No”, “No”, and “Celtic” respectively).

Interestingly, for people who needed clarification by bullet-point, they were well enough versed in the minutiae to attempt to argue the flat-earth case and try to sell us the “it has been established legally that <insert something that hasn’t been established legally here>”

Our only conjecture was that they were trying to convince us we were wrong,  or ascertain how firm a grasp we actually had on the facts to better see who and what they were dealing with, or (most probably) they were reacting aimlessly to online pressure and not really following any plan at all. Perhaps they were seeking to reassure themselves that it was just Celtic fans who were angry – although I fail to see how Celtic or their fans have less credibility when asking legitimate questions about the running of the game just because Rangers were involved.

Subsequently, despite the platitudes of “print and social media should work together” and the like, and despite being furnished with the aforementioned bullet points, no further contact was made with SFM other than a couple of childish comments about SFM on Twitter.

Facts might be facts to us all, but in the case of the print media, they can be ignored on the basis that mad internet bampots are not a credible source, although metaphysical hypotheses are clearly thought to be a far more sensible line of inquiry!

However, facts ARE indeed facts, and in the hands of real journalists like Alec Thomson and those in The Offshore Game (TOG), they are given the credence they merit. Since TOG published the report on the SFA (see below), the facts have emerged from not just the so-called internet bampots. Those facts have survived the scrutiny of several reputable journalists involved in TOG – and their legal advisers.

Accusations more blunt and unequivocal than we have ever made have been published. The genie is most definitely out of the bottle, but the prodigious MSM Twitterati, so meticulous in their investigations into the occupation of Craig Whyte’s female companions, appear to have run out of batteries on their keyboards. “No answer” is the loud reply, since TOG cannot be ridiculed quite so easily without exposing themselves to the same scrutiny they have failed to apply to the SFA.

If I can be as unequivocal about this as possible. Senior journalists in at least two MSM print outlets KNOW there has been a cover up, and that systematic cheating took place. They knew that before the TOG report, long before it, but still they did nothing. Even now they do nothing. They are now playing a reactionary role – as counterpoint to the accessible online truth –  involved in actively concealing that truth from the offline public. An Offline Game if you like.

Of course we are not surprised by that, and as the falling-off-a-cliff circulation figures show, fewer and fewer people are playing their game. Even those who still purchase newspapers believe little of what they read.

The clubs are a different matter. Fans of every single club in this country – and that includes TRFC – will benefit from an inquiry into the handling of this matter. In the light of the TOG report, there is no excuse for the clubs to ignore calls for an inquiry to be set up. In fact by doing so, they are actively embracing corruption.

As we have said time and time again, this is no longer about Rangers. It is about institutionalised mal-governance at Hampden. By assisting the cover-up, the clubs are ensuring that the same corrupt practices are in place, ready to go again when necessary. Those practices which saw journalists and SFA officials cede editorial control (both statements backed up by documentary evidence) of their output to one club, and allow damaging conflicts of interest to circumvent rules.

The Offshore Game has thrown a media spotlight onto a cover-up. The MSM have attempted to bury it in the offline domain, but corruption, however well established,is not unbeatable. We can beat it if we work together – and here is how.

Season ticket renewals are dropping through letterboxes as I write this. If we do nothing other than protest, the clubs will do – just like Stewart Regan says he will – NOTHING!

There is only one way to establish the Independent Inquiry that is demanded in the wake of TOG report. Ask your club if they will vote for an Independent Inquiry to be set up.

If they agree, there is no problem. They are doing the right thing and will be deserving of our support.

Otherwise, send their renewal forms back to them unsigned.

It really is that simple.



About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

1,833 Comments so far

ReiverPosted on10:59 am - May 25, 2016

Sent to Stewart Regan 10 minutes ago, –

I believe that you are aware of the work we are doing to try and repair the damage done by yourself and the rest of the officers in the SFA to the trust within the game in Scotland. We have seen years of malfeasance where the integrity in the sport of football in Scotland has been sacrificed. Your failure to respond to the Tax Justice Network’s report that finds that you have many questions to answer has reinforced the points made by this well respected organisation. The report has now been in the public domain for three weeks and, while damning enough, could perhaps do with being revisited in the wake of the announcements emenating from your office after the scenes at Hampden on Saturday. More importantly perhaps, was what was not forthcoming. Particularly with regard to correcting your initial comment where you stated 20,000 Hibs fans invaded the pitch, an understandable mistake in the passion of the immediate aftermath but one that should have been corrected later. Your comments re the Hibs supporters taunting the TRFC fans bore no signs of balance with regard to whether the singing and chanting by many thousands of people of offensive, proscribed lyrics throughout and after the game was itself “taunting”. Nor did you comment with regard to the fact that the violence only broke out when the “restrained” TRFC support entered the field of play with the SOLE intent of violence.All that happened after the match was totally unacceptable and rightfully deserves an independent investigation but the inflammatory response by the TRFC board with its press releases was magnified by the complete lack of response to it from you and your organisation. Yet again we are left with reinforcement of our concerns that you run an organisation with two sets of rules. Your response to our concerns and your dismissal that we are fans with a grudge and that it is a “west of Scotland thing” undermines your position and not ours. Your refusal to answer the questions we raise and those so clearly stated in the TJN report can be put down to nothing more than arrogance or a fear that we will be shown to be correct in our assumptions. For any body that claims to be professional. and the inflated self worth that your recent self imposed salary increase suggest that you believe you are professional, your reaction towards the concerns of the paying public that finance your salary is disgusting.
Until such times that you seriously broach the subjects of the manipulated LNS report, the 2011 UEFA licensing and the decimation of your own rules on fit and proper and eligibility of people involved in liquidation events then our campaign will not only continue but intensify. If you have ANY belief that any sport’s main foundation can only be integrity then you are required, at a minimum, to answer our concerns honestly. Our aims are not based on revenge, hate or bias but purely in seeing the trust, that has long since been broken, being repaired and that can only happen if we can SEE that football governance is free from influence and is independent of control from any particular club. Platitudes will not be enough and, in our opinion, unfortunately neither can continuation of influence of officers guilty of malfeasance in the SFA over the last decade.
This email has been sent to you, Mr Regan, at the SFA but could as easily be sent to the SPFL as the manipulation of you both have contributed to the state our game is in but we shall broach one issue at a time.
Yours in hope
A Reiver”

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:00 am - May 25, 2016

Circumstances will, no doubt, prove me wrong (they usually do!), but I see nothing untoward in Warburton’s absence.

His family is in England & he can’t have seen much of them during the season.

Perhaps he’s had a few days’ break & will be attending the English play-offs at the weekend with a view to ‘opening the warchest’. (Now, now, no sniggering…)

Perhaps he’s on holiday abroad.

Or more likely, he’s fulfilling his requirements according to the Rangers Retail contract & working in a Sports Direct stock-room somewhere…

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ReiverPosted on11:04 am - May 25, 2016

As to where’s Warby.

We must always keep in mind that it is standard for managers to give senior reporters their mobile number. At such an important time as following a major cup final and the start of player signings it is inconceivable that, if all was OK, he would switch off his phone. Especially if, as claimed, TRFC are such a big club.

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AllyjamboPosted on11:05 am - May 25, 2016

On Mark Warburton’s disappearance; either something’s up, or he’s the huffiest ever Cup final losing manager! Not even a public congratulations to his opposite number, Alan Stubbs. If he was the quality of person that he is painted as, the very least we’d have seen, regardless of any holiday plans, and they’d have taken into account the possibility/probability of Cup winning celebrations, a quick ‘well done to Hibs and Alan Stubbs’ is the very least that a decent man would have ensured was put out into the public domain with his name clearly attached!

Regardless of the after match trouble, Alan Stubbs and his players were totally blameless and there can be no excuse there for this incredible rudeness!

I think something that is overlooked is that this was no humiliating defeat by a lowly opponent, the teams were of more or less equal standing! Absolutely no reason for ignoring such worthy opponents, none whatsoever, regardless of how deep it might hurt!

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ReiverPosted on11:14 am - May 25, 2016

I see that the BBC has an article titled “Motion lodged over cup final disorder”.

Is this another attempt by TRFC to find the letter box at Hampden. They didn’t find it before to put through their petition how’re they going to find it now when they have excrement to post.
The question now is, With no letterbox available where DID they lodge it?

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tonyPosted on11:29 am - May 25, 2016

JJ on warbs latest

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Charlie_KellyPosted on11:40 am - May 25, 2016

Re: Where’s Warbo
No-one seems to know. On holiday, back home in England, Abroad talking to/scouting players ? These would all be perfectly reasonable explanations. So why do such reasonable explanations result in a complete media blackout as to his whereabouts?
And when I say blackout I don’t just mean no information is forthcoming from RFC, I mean the SMSM haven’t even put forward the question. Well they haven’t put forward the question in public anyway.
I find it inconceivable that certain “rangers minded” hacks Jackson, Lindsey, Wilson, Jack etc… Haven’t at least enquired in an “off the record” capacity either to the club or by texting/phoning the man himself. If they have at least asked off the record then either they’ve been met with more silence or they’ve been sworn to secrecy.
Anyway it’ll all come out in the wash eventually I’m sure.

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woodsteinPosted on11:49 am - May 25, 2016


“An MSP has lodged a motion at Holyrood claiming the Scottish Cup final disorder shows the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act should be kept.”

Opposition parties are bidding to have the legislation, which is aimed at tackling sectarianism, repealed

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Big PinkPosted on11:59 am - May 25, 2016

To be honest, the Warburton absence and silence is only of significant interest if you are a TRFC fan – and their fans don’t appear to be concerned unduly. I have some sympathy for those TRFC fans who have told us it’s none of our business.

My interest however is twofold;

Firstly an academic one, due to the off-piste nature and oddness of it all.

And then of course there is the disrespect inherent in failing to congratulate the opposition, providing the sponsors with the contractual post-match comment – as well as offering an assessment of the match to TRFC fans.

If Warburton IS on holiday as is suggested by reports of a TalkSport interview he gave last Thursday, then one would think that he would have made arrangements to comply with the protocols and etiquette of the job and competition.

As Tris has suggested, there was not one mention of his name at the press conference yesterday – and that was a major media event in TRFC terms.

It is unusual, but as the TRFC fans say, it’s none of our business.

Except about the lack of respect shown to Hibs and William Hill

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Charlie_KellyPosted on11:59 am - May 25, 2016

Pitch invasions, punching players, punching opposition fans, tearing down goal frames…. All of these things were already Illegal BEFORE the OBFA was introduced.
The OBFA is an attempt by politicians to police peoples thoughts & language. It is illiberal and would be better suited to a hollywood movie set in some sort of dystopian future, than in a modern liberal democracy.

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woodsteinPosted on12:50 pm - May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016 at 11:59
Agreed, but the motion referred to by Reiver and   which, has been proposed by SNP MSP John Mason has said the chaotic scenes at Hampden showed that, “this would not be an appropriate time to relax the law” in relation to football.
The SNP are 2 short of a majority, it only takes 2 of the non SNP parties to agree with the motion and the bill stays!
Which proves that  Robert  K. Merton was right
 “unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and intended by a purposeful action”
That would be a shame. 13

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mungoboyPosted on1:02 pm - May 25, 2016

I hear that Disney/Pixar are bringing out a new blockbuster movie.
It’s called ‘Finding Warbo’.

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woodsteinPosted on1:35 pm - May 25, 2016


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Corrupt officialPosted on2:04 pm - May 25, 2016

Has the blazer kicking out in the technical area been identified yet? 

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jimmciPosted on4:35 pm - May 25, 2016

Does anyone else remember the fuss kicked up by the SMSM when Alan Stubbs and Hibs did not provide a guard of honour when meeting Rangers immediately after the had secured their Championship win?It was petty, not the norm,spiteful and a hatful of other terms as I recall.
Isn’t it odd then that nowhere in the media is there surprise, comment or criticism that nobody from Rangers, be it their management or Level5, has had the basic courtesy to congratulate worthy winners.
Par for the course I suppose in Scotland where Rangers are concerned.

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StevieBCPosted on4:53 pm - May 25, 2016

CORRUPT OFFICIALMAY 25, 2016 at 14:04 Has the blazer kicking out in the technical area been identified yet?
I think the SFA may claim it was a Chelsea fan – but in a clever disguise.
…well it worked for RFC in the day…  15

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StevieBCPosted on5:11 pm - May 25, 2016

To agree with prior observations: the Barton signing was both unexpected, [for me anyway], and is the most high profile/significant signing at Ibrox for several years.

There could be several valid reasons for Warbuton’s silence: or he could simply be a RRM now, i.e. a bad loser !

Whatever the reason, however, it would have been good form to congratulate Hibs on their win publicly.
There was no shame in losing, and it took two entertaining teams to provide for a great Cup Final.

But something doesn’t feel right, all the same, about his silence…

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RMcGeddawnPosted on5:41 pm - May 25, 2016

CORRUPT OFFICIALMAY 25, 2016 at 14:04
Has the blazer kicking out in the technical area been identified yet? 

Not yet, obviously given that it looks like Liam Henderson who was kicked, Rangers will have been on the phone to Hibs and/or Celtic. Maybe Celtic and/or Hibs have not even had the courtesy of any contact whatsoever from Rangers to ask after the wellbeing of their player who was attacked by a member of  Rangers’ staff. 

Could Rangers acknowledge that a tiny minority of Hibs fans encroached on the pitch to protect their player  who was being visibly attacked in front of them by a Rangers official.  
 So, let everyone be clear on one thing – Rangers demands that players, staff and fans be protected from the violence and hatred of supporters (and officials) of other clubs. Rangers fully expects the Scottish FA and Police Scotland to take action to provide people with a safe environment and to protect Hibs players from attack by staff employed by other clubs.

Just saying like ….

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on5:52 pm - May 25, 2016

The silence from Mr Warburton is puzzling & welcome in equal measure.
It seems that there has never been a day when we have been spared his pearls of wisdom since he arrived in Scotland – until now.
Even if he is on holiday – & why not after a long season – I struggle to understand why such a blatant self publicist would just slope off without a word or ten.
I suspect that there is some frantic activity going on behind the scenes in Govan almost certainly involving finances. 
Saturday’s result (& performance) will not have helped season ticket sales and the loss of income from a couple of Europa qualifying ties could well be causing major issues, as I reckon this would have already been factored into their projections. Oh well.

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jimboPosted on6:01 pm - May 25, 2016

“With all that has been going on this weekend sometimes that has got lost a little bit, so credit to them, they played better than us on the day and in my opinion deserved to win,” he said to the Glasgow Evening Times.

Well that is something I suppose, not exactly a congratulations but an acknowledgement and not said in a grudging way.

But it’s from Davie Weir who has been the spokesman for TRFC yesterday and today.

Forget McInnes it’s DW for the manager’s vacancy! 21

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HomunculusPosted on6:17 pm - May 25, 2016

MAY 25, 2016 at 17:11

My take on the Barton signing is that he was a free agent and as such no money to pay up front. He will be on a decent wage which will have to be paid, however if the club were to go into administration then the administrator will simply let him go at no cost.

As I understand it the lads from Accrington Stanley were also pre-contracts for free agents.

Any signings will be significant if they involve a fee for the players registration. 

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easyJamboPosted on6:42 pm - May 25, 2016

A couple of miscreants have appeared in court. One pleaded guilty to making offensive gestures towards Foderingham, while another was accused of attempting to punch Wallace and Holt, although he made no plea.

I’m sure that there will be many more awaiting the dreaded knock on the door.

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on6:45 pm - May 25, 2016

HOMUNCULUSMAY 25, 2016 at 18:17

I think you may be over simplifying the “free agent” thing.
Certainly no up-front fee is payable to the former club, but any agent worth his salt would use that as leverage to negotiate a signing on fee, though in fairness I’m not sure that Accrington Stanley on your CV would help in that regard.
Joey Barton appears to be a bit of a maverick and if the reported £25k a week is accurate then I’m certain he could easily have got much more in the EPL, whether at Burnley or elsewhere.
He may well just fancy an (outside) chance of a winners medal of some kind and good luck to him on that one.

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HomunculusPosted on6:53 pm - May 25, 2016

MAY 25, 2016 at 18:45 He may well just fancy an (outside) chance of a winners medal of some kind and good luck to him on that one.

You may want Rangers to win something next season or the season after.

I don’t.

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Corrupt officialPosted on6:54 pm - May 25, 2016

RMCGEDDAWNMAY 25, 2016 at 17:41
   I think the Sevco statement was bad enough, without re-writing it. Especially before identifying who was involved. That would be rather rash. 

HOMUNCULUSMAY 25, 2016 at 18:17
   I can’t comment on the administration situation, but as I understand it, Barton will not be turning up for pre-season training along with the others due to him being on telly duties at the Euros. 
   He is a long way from being on the payroll yet. 

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shugPosted on6:55 pm - May 25, 2016

I am sure we will hear something just as soon as the sfa have combed through all the paperwork and have established that the Celtic loanees were perfectly registered but ineligible to play in the final due to being too good so the cup will have to be returned to the rightful winners sevco and unfortunately Hibs will start next season with a fifty point deficit for their disrespectful behaviour towards their betters by going off script lol.  

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HomunculusPosted on6:55 pm - May 25, 2016

Rangers have now made comment on the Scottish Cup final on the official website. 


DAVID WEIR has given his thoughts on Rangers’ performance against Hibs in the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday.
Mark Warburton‘s assistant admits the Light Blues were not at their best in the Hampden showdown and that the overall display highlighted areas which need to be worked on, and where the squad needs strengthened, as the club prepares for Premiership football in 2016/17.
Speaking at The Rangers Training Centre in Auchenhowie yesterday after Joey Barton’sarrival, Weir said: “I think overall there’s obvious disappointment with the result and probably with the performance as well, I don’t think we played as well as we could have done.
“It’s disappointing to get in to a winning position as well and not hold on to that, so many aspects of the game we were disappointed with but within that as well you have to give Hibs credit for winning the Cup.
“With all that has been going on this weekend sometimes that has got lost a little bit, so credit to them, they played better than us on the day and in my opinion deserved to win.”
On the positives to take from the 90 minutes on Saturday, Weir continued: “I think the positives are we know what we need to improve on.
“We’re always learning, we’re always trying to get better, we’re always looking for areas where we can improve.“Maybe the game on Saturday highlighted the areas we need to improve on.
“We’ll strive to do that, we’ll continue to look to get better and I think it’s quite clear in regards to where we need to improve, so that can be a positive thing for us moving forward.
“Maybe if we had won it would have disguised a few things that we need to improve on and maybe in the long term that will be a good thing for us.”

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on7:05 pm - May 25, 2016

HOMUNCULUSMAY 25, 2016 at 18:53 0 0 Rate This
JUSTBECAUSEYOUREPARANOIDMAY 25, 2016 at 18:45 He may well just fancy an (outside) chance of a winners medal of some kind and good luck to him on that one.============================================
You may want Rangers to win something next season or the season after.
I don’t.

Eh?  As the youngsters say WTF?
I don’t think my last couple of posts were written in Mandarin, but just to make things clear I don’t want “Rangers” to win anything – ever. Never have done and certainly don’t now.
In other footballing jurisdictions I would have had satisfaction on that point.

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HomunculusPosted on7:08 pm - May 25, 2016



How can he get a winners medal without Rangers winning something.

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Kilgore TroutPosted on7:16 pm - May 25, 2016


“How can he get a winners medal without Rangers winning something”

Perhaps he’ll get loaned out to Celtic*
*Other potential trophy winners are available. 

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HomunculusPosted on7:19 pm - May 25, 2016

MAY 25, 2016 at 19:16

As the last few seasons have shown, there are plenty of trophy winners in Scotland and plenty with the potential of winning them in the next couple of seasons.

I don’t think Rangers will win any of them, but that probably depends on how good a cup run they get. Including how many home games they are lucky enough to get.

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on7:20 pm - May 25, 2016

HOMUNCULUSMAY 25, 2016 at 19:08 0 1 Rate This
How can he get a winners medal without Rangers winning something.

Are you American by any chance?
“…..good luck to him with that one” was ironic.
He has no chance of winning a medal because the team he has joined is a million miles short of the quality required.

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HomunculusPosted on7:25 pm - May 25, 2016



Firstly, mods, no need to tell me to drop this. This is my last post on the matter.

Why do you ask if I am an American, what does that have to do with anything.

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tamjartmarquezPosted on7:27 pm - May 25, 2016

CORRUPT OFFICIALMAY 25, 2016 at 18:54   I can’t comment on the administration situation, but as I understand it, Barton will not be turning up for pre-season training along with the others due to him being on telly duties at the Euros.    He is a long way from being on the payroll yet. 
Maybe mistaken, was there no a problem previously with players being unhappy with (non) payments during close-season? Possibly after being released?

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jimboPosted on7:28 pm - May 25, 2016

I think he was saying it ‘tongue in cheek’ Homunculus. Like, aye good luck with that one – ie. very unlikely.

Re. Bosman signings, there can be signing on fees which go to the player & his agent.

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erniePosted on7:32 pm - May 25, 2016

Whatever you may think of Barton, he’s nae daft.  A 2 year + 1 year option, at 34, at a salary that is acceptable to him is not bad going.  But, in the long term, he is now ensconced as the go-to guy for the SMSM and that will continue way past his playing career.  Look forward, eventually, to Joey the pundit on our subsidised Beeb for a start and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t grab a column in some Scottish press dinosaur before thee next season even starts.  A big fish in a wee pond can be quite lucrative.
Best of luck to him.

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tamjartmarquezPosted on7:33 pm - May 25, 2016

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StevieBCPosted on9:07 pm - May 25, 2016

Just to join in with the recent obstreperous comments…  09

ERNIEMAY 25, 2016 at 19:32Whatever you may think of Barton, he’s nae daft.  
A 2 year + 1 year option, at 34, at a salary that is acceptable to him is not bad going…
With all due respect: I respectfully disagree on that one Ernie.

Even if Barton only had a 1 year offer from Burnley, [& supposedly it was uplifted too], to play in the EPL, he should have grabbed it with both hands.
A decent player turning down the chance to play at Liverpool, ManU, etc in the League and Cups…in favour of visiting less salubrious surroundings, and with weaker colleagues/opponents and especially in the Scottish League and FA Cups ?
IMO, it doesn’t reflect well on Barton – financials aside.

Typically, a good player always wants to play with – and against – the best players possible, for as long as possible.

And it used to be that c.30 was the typical ‘retirement’ age for footballers even in my lifetime, but now with advances in nutrition, training, medicine etc. a well maintained player who has been lucky wrt injuries ‘should’ be able to play on well into his late 30’s.  Just one example: IIRC, Ibra at age 35 has banged in 50 goals for PSG this season – and not just in the French League.

As far as I am aware Barton is injury free, so why drop down to TRFC level ?
We must be missing something significant here, IMO.

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jimboPosted on9:31 pm - May 25, 2016

“Just to join in with the recent obstreperous comments…”

Stevie you have been in America too lang.  10

(Guessing from your moniker and occasional lapses in the time diff.!)

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StevieBCPosted on9:50 pm - May 25, 2016

JIMBOMAY 25, 2016 at 21:31 “Just to join in with the recent obstreperous comments…”
Stevie you have been in America too lang. 
(Guessing from your moniker and occasional lapses in the time diff.!)
You calling me a Yank ?!
Yes, 6 years and counting – but still working on the “Noo Yoik” accent.
And it’s great to be able to Google big words and pretend you know what they mean… 22

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Corrupt officialPosted on9:53 pm - May 25, 2016

STEVIEBCMAY 25, 2016 at 21:07
    “We must be missing something significant here, IMO.”
 I don’t think you need look any deeper than supply and demand Stevie. 
In demand = Dead dear
Low demand = Cheap 
No demand = Free to anyone willing to collect, and take it off my hands

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paddy malarkeyPosted on10:25 pm - May 25, 2016

I reckon Barton thinks his body isn’t up to the rigours of the top flight in England. There’s also the need to be appreciated, and he will be treated as a messiah down Govan way . (Let’s see who’s first !).

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TincksPosted on10:59 pm - May 25, 2016

Crikey, a small breach in the dam appears.  Neil Cameron saying that the Offshore Game report will be covered in tomorrow’s Herald.
Hope the link works.

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paddy malarkeyPosted on11:10 pm - May 25, 2016

Missed this, probably ‘cos I had no interest in the match . Logos on corner flags ? Whodda thunkit ?

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Billy BoycePosted on1:32 am - May 26, 2016

TincksMay 25, 2016 at 22:59
Crikey, a small breach in the dam appears.  Neil Cameron saying that the Offshore Game report will be covered in tomorrow’s Herald. Hope the link works.
Cameron’s piece in tomorrow’s Herald:

“IT is known as The Offshore Game’s report on Rangers and has dominated social media among Scottish football supporters for weeks.
The dossier came out of a project set up by the Tax Justice Network, which claims to be an independent international body, launched in 2003, dedicated to research, analysis and advocacy in the area of international tax and the international aspects of financial regulation.
George Turner, the report’s main author, spoke to Neil Cameron about his findings, which question, among other things, the Scottish Football Association’s behaviour during the Ibrox club’s financial meltdown and the legality of what became known as the Small Tax Case.
Here, in his own words, Turner speaks about why he believes not all the facts were put forward when it was determined whether Rangers had gained any sporting advantage during the years which preceded the club being placed into liquidation.
NC: Can you explain to someone who has never seen the report what this is all about?
GT: “The report focuses on the way the SFA handled the financial crisis at Rangers and the regulatory questions which arose from that. We look at two specific things: the Lord Nimmo Smith inquiry, which looked into rulebreaking by Rangers Football Club, and the grant of a licence to play in Europe in the 2011/12 season.
“In both those instances, we think the SFA are shown to be having behaved poorly. It is about the importance of good regulations.”
NC: What sort of action should be taken?
“An inquiry has to be set up by the SFA about how it regulates the game, considering the instances raised in this report and by many other people. There also should be an independent inquiry about how appropriate the controls and procedures the SFA have are in light of what happened in the past.
“It’s very clear from the decisions that they (Lord Nimmo Smith inquiry) were only looking at the tax avoidance scheme which became known as the Big Tax Case, which is still in the courts. They came to the conclusion that, because it was legal at the time, there was no competitive advantage to Rangers and, therefore, they could not be deducted points or suffer any sporting sanctions.
“However, we know that Rangers were operating another tax avoidance scheme, which is known popularly as the Discounted Option Scheme (Small Tax Case).
“Now, it may well be if they had known everything at the end of the process, that they might have come to the same conclusion, but you do need to have a process people can believe in because, at the end of the day, you are trying to come to a judgement about an issue many people have a different view on.
“It is really important that, at the end of the process, as many people as possible know the truth even if they disagree with it.”
NC: Many people won’t know so much about the Discounted Option Scheme, which involved Tore Andre Flo and Ronald de Boer (HMRC assessed Rangers avoided £2.8million between 1999 and 2003. Rangers were presented with a bill of around £4m after interest and penalty charges).
GT: “They did not follow the required tax rules. In addition, in 2005, HMRC approached Rangers and said: ‘We think you are paying players through these means and, so, could you show us any other contacts you have with them, side-letters, etc.’
“I think there is no legitimacy to the DOS scheme.
“It may well be that if we re-ran the whole thing and they had all the information in front of them, then they may say that is such a small scheme in comparison that it was immaterial. But had they [all the information] they would have been able to make a statement saying it was immaterial.
“It would be quite a bold move to say it was a small scheme given Ronald de Boer was one of the players paid through that scheme.”
NC: What many non-supporters of Rangers say is that some, if not all, of the titles won during this period should be taken away from them.
GT: “We do not say in our report that Rangers should have their titles stripped. Let me be clear about that. However, there should be a fair process for no other reason than everyone can be confident that, if any other club is investigated in the future, they know the investigating authority is a fair one.”
NC: It does seem that the debate, if you can call it that, is largely about Rangers defending their club while others attack it.
GT “Rangers fans should be really angry about what happened to their club. It went through this hugely painful process because of gross financial mismanagement.
“I wouldn’t even say that people should be angry about what their club did. They should be angry about what people did to their club.”
The full report can be found on

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CastofthousandsPosted on1:41 am - May 26, 2016

If the Herald went with this does it indicate a much larger dam breach elsewhere? Interesting times.

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Cygnus X2Posted on2:51 am - May 26, 2016

Timings and possibilities.
My question is why the Herald is running this story now and actively linking to the full report.
My (unproven) hypothesis is that there was a commercial arrangement in place between Rangers and the Herald & Evening Times. Quite naturally, that agreement has ended at the end of the season.  Maybe Rangers have indicated an unwillingness to put a new arrangement in place (due to lack of cash) and are being educated in the reality of transparency in future reporting.
Of course, this would imply that editorial policy at a newspaper group in Scotland could be bought and paid for.  Clearly, this could never happen.
Alternatively, maybe the editor has just grown a set. 

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tcup 2012Posted on6:48 am - May 26, 2016

Noticed this at the start of the Herald piece 

Small Tax Case.Here, in his own words, Turner speaks about why he believes not all the facts were put forward when it was determined whether Rangers had gained any sporting advantage during the years which preceded the club being placed into liquidation.

The he last line says it all 
Club being placed in liquidation ??
Was the herald on the some sort of end of season Bounes scheam ?
Which hasn’t been forth coming or something else that has really upset them?

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tcup 2012Posted on6:57 am - May 26, 2016

Where’s Warbo? 

Well he’s in the States according to the inside ibrox daily fanzine 

oh and Warbo may well have been talking to s team or two down south as a bargaining chip if the daily fanzine is to be beilived

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jimboPosted on7:39 am - May 26, 2016

So Warbo didn’t jet out on holiday until Wednesday morning.  There is much you could read into that.  Why no press releases, even by video link, about the game on Saturday or a welcome to Joey bhoy? 

Seems to me there was a showdown from an unhappy bunny.  Anyhow he’s doubled his salary so all is well.  (Until he goes to the cashline m/c in January 31st. to withdraw some of his salary payment.)  22

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helpmaboabPosted on8:10 am - May 26, 2016

Neil Cameron’s piece in The Herald. It’s a start I suppose,but why do I feel underwhelmed by it?

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HighlanderPosted on8:11 am - May 26, 2016

TCUP 2012MAY 26, 2016 at 06:48
Noticed this at the start of the Herald piece 
Small Tax Case. Here, in his own words, Turner speaks about why he believes not all the facts were put forward when it was determined whether Rangers had gained any sporting advantage during the years which preceded the club being placed into liquidation.

Could anyone explain how Spartans gained a sporting advantage when they missed a signature/date from a form, or how another club was expelled from a cup competition for having an ineligible player on its bench as an unused sub? You could be forgiven for thinking that a different set of rules applies to any form of Rangers.  

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SteveplustaxPosted on8:21 am - May 26, 2016

Now that the Hibs support have been thoroughly demonized for several days running, this story (link below) emerges in the Daily Record. Rangers supporters outside Hampden apparently blocked and attacked a police convoy trying to enter the ground after the end of the cup final.
To be fair, however, I think the police may have misunderstood what was happening. The civic-minded Sevcoites were merely saying, “It’s OK officers, nothing to see here–some of our chaps already made sure all the players and staff were well-protected!”
Is this stuff ever going to end?

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AllyjamboPosted on9:38 am - May 26, 2016

tcup 2012May 26, 2016 at 06:57 
Where’s Warbo? 
Well he’s in the States according to the inside ibrox daily fanzine 
oh and Warbo may well have been talking to s team or two down south as a bargaining chip if the daily fanzine is to be beilived

I wonder if he put the same amount of effort into checking the truth of what he was told (to write) as he did over the 11 damaged players from Saturday!

But what do we know from that piece? Well, Warburton is in the USA on a family holiday. He’s gone there without agreeing a new contract. Keith Jackson hasn’t spoken to him directly. David Weir hasn’t mention him (Warburton) in a recent press conference, not even, it would appear, in the passing. This is, in fact, the first we’ve read Warburton’s name in the printed press since before the cup final! It does seem very strange that, as Warburton’s closest associate, Weir made no mention of Mark Warburton’s delight at the signing of the most high profile player to be seen at Ibrox since…before the old club imploded!

Increased salary negotiations? If there was nothing concrete in place, other than the rumoured £0.5m bonus, to cover the expected promotion when the original deal was thrashed out, could the current negotiations (if there actually are any), be King trying to get Warburton to agree to accept his bonus over, say, a two year period, rather than a new offer to reward his success?

Is Warburton’s silence a negotiating tool aimed at King

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wottpiPosted on9:58 am - May 26, 2016

I am sure the stories about fan behaviour will run and run.

It was certainly good to see the news last night that some of the Hibs fans were already up before the Sheriff. The stand out Ginger bloke at least had the decency to plead guilty, banged to rights. The bloke who fancies himself as a boxer looks like he himself will probably go down next.

What football has to ask itself is why does the game create this ultra tribal reaction and what can they do about it.

Sure, there are occasional reports of trouble in other sporting events (struggling to think of any recently)   but they are far from the norm and rarely are they ever on a scale as witnessed at the weekend.

I’m sure we all know decent minded folk who turn into 90 minute monsters singing and shouting the most outrageous filth at opposition supporters, classing everyone the same then issuing the immortal line .. Some of by best pals are (insert the club of choice) supporters and happliy chatting away to these ‘opposition monsters’ in the pub, on Facebook etc etc

Its just banter, you know! Well for me banter means humour, barbed at times but mostly friendly, intelligent and when required, self deprecating, (i.e Aberdeen fans always mentioning their sheep shagging status before anyone else can- Job done , move along please!).

As some folk have said on here, one day the light switch clicked in that they were abusing their own mates and members of their own families, just because of the team they support. Far too many still live in the dark or seek to justify their behaviour on the basis that it isn’t doing any harm.

The fact remains that the vast majority of fans are decent people. The majority of Hibs fans who took to the park were there to party. The vast majority of Rangers fans simply wanted to go home after their defeat..

The worrying thing is that as opposed to working together to deal with the minority of idiots, T’Rangers, as a club,  have given a thumbs up to those who equate defending the club’s ‘traditions’  with violence and intimidation.

While we cannot solve the worldwide football problem we can put out own house in order. And that as to start by all clubs calling out each of their own special brand of idiots for what they are and saying they are simply not welcome -regardless of the cost.

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CastofthousandsPosted on9:59 am - May 26, 2016

I managed to locate a full video of last weeks cup final which I watched last night. Whilst the game was entertaining I found myself scrutinising closely the scenes at the end of the match. In the mode of ‘Wings Over Scotland’ I have composed a timeline of what I can see. Timings are based on the video link below.
3:51:20 Game ends
3:51:31 Hibs fans leap barriers and head for pitch
3:51:34 Fans encroach onto pitch apron
3:51:42-46 No Rangers players obvious in half of pitch invaded by Hibs fans except Foderingham
3:51:52 Kenny Miller leaves pitch
3:52:02 Two Rangers players enter tunnel area followed 3 seconds later by another Rangers player. They appear physically unperturbed.
3:52:09 Alan Stubbs urges Hibs fans away from tunnel area. A Rangers player flanked by two individuals dressed in dark clothing is seen moving toward tunnel area to Stubbs’ left hand side.
3:52:14-35 Full shot of invaded half of pitch. No Rangers players obviously visible except Foderingham
3:52:36-47 Rangers coaching staff turn to make their way up the tunnel. Tavernier, Shiels and Keenan are clearly visible.
3:52:57 Stubbs’ pitchside interview begins.

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wottpiPosted on10:22 am - May 26, 2016

Speaking of costs

Lets say Joey B is the highest paid T’Rangers players on £20k and this is made up of the £5k per player saved by releasing Law , Clark and Templeton that leaves £5k x 52 = £260k.

Add on Warbs reported pay rise of £300k = £560k of increased costs for next season.

Over investment required, or two third of the fans groups  rainy day cash or divide £560k by a season ticket price of say £350 = 1600 new Bears needed to pay for the two rises in expenditure.

Celtic on the other hand are needing to find a heck of a lot more to pay for Rodgers but folks have a better idea where that money may come from.

PS I notice that someone at Ibrox didn’t have enough cash for the Tippex needed to paint out the SD logo on the sponsors backdrop at the Barton Presser !

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:26 am - May 26, 2016

My previous post is what I might term evidence. Now I offer my analysis.

The game itself was hard fought but was not particularly contentious. There were only a couple of yellow cards and these were for fouls that were not particularly dangerous. In summary, the fans are unlikely to have felt riled in the aftermath of the match. There were few contentious decisions and the game was conducted in a sportsman like manner. All credit to both teams for serving up a spectacle which Scotland can be proud of.

So the Hibs fans invading the pitch would not have been expected to be in a mood of anger or seeking revenge. They would more likely have been ebullient given that fifteen minutes earlier they had been staring continuing humiliation in the face.

Therefore the motive of the fans would not fundamentally and generally have been nasty; it would have been cheerful, as the scenes amply describe.

This is underscored when Kenny Miller is ‘confronted’ by a Hibs fan as he exits the pitch. The fan is conciliatory and seems to be offering Miller some kind of hand shake.

My screen is small and not particularly densely populated with pixels so my definition of fine detail is limited. Perhaps others might be able to better analyse the minute and a half of footage I have homed in on. However I don’t see the Rangers team in the half of the pitch invaded by Hibs fans (except Foderingham). Consider the mindset of the Rangers players. They have just suffered a dramatic defeat in a match that they might have anticipated to win and which so much importance has been placed. They will have been gutted and would likely have headed fairly promptly for the tunnel, especially with hordes of Hibs fans coming into the pitch.

At 3:52:36 the Rangers staff turn to head up the tunnel. This suggests that the vast majority of their team are already safely indoors one minute and ten seconds after the final whistle.

I can understand Rangers being disappointed at the result but the statement that all of their players were in some way assaulted by Hibs fans just doesn’t ring true. If it isn’t true then it is rather a provocative assertion to make. We know that Rangers fans are feeling ostracised by the publicity of the travails of their club over the last few years. To accentuate any feelings of grievance unnecessarily is cruel, heartless and possibly potentially dangerous.

The Hibs fans really only express anger when they confront the Rangers support and are confronted by them in turn. Up to that point the occasion appeared to be good natured.

Whilst the Hibs pitch invasion showed poor fan discipline, to possibly use this to inflame Rangers supporters post match and to slander Hibs fans is contemptible. Perhaps others with the patience and technology can indicate where my analysis might be flawed.

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SmugasPosted on10:30 am - May 26, 2016

Wottpi @ 9.58,

I’m sure you had everyone on board including the Chairmen right up to the last four words.

Short term pain means l…  nah you’re alright, don’t want to hear any more.

But of course our model (and club dominance is hardly unique to Scotland) would ordinarily ensure that whilst this inflamed banter from all sides, whether the minority or not, goes on the two major clubs continue winning by shere power of resource and thus their dominance is self sustaining whilst the remainder can only pick up the scraps.  Yet when one side cheats and spectacularly self-implodes ALL the clubs move heaven and earth, plus a few carpets, to recreate it.

Your comments are understandable and indeed is the child friendly, sustainable goal we all aim for.  But I invite you to the first RFC/Aberdeen ‘garden party’ (to choose one flashpoint of, I suspect, several next season) to shatter your dreams, probably permanently.  Why?  Because the clubs clearly wanted it this way! It’ll be a riot…

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Corrupt officialPosted on10:39 am - May 26, 2016

  I don’t think King could ever dream of letting Warbs walk for financial reasons. The costs of not agreeing terms with the fans favourite will be huge not only in ticket sales, but also exposing the silence that comes from shaking an empty biscuit tin. 
   It may well be a negotiating tool for Warbs at the moment, but cranking up the fears of him leaving will result in a huge collective “Phew!” from the followers if he stays. This will most likely be hyped to “levels” way above what a new signing would receive. So much so, they won’t notice that no crumbs were rattling in the tin.  
   If he does walk away. I doubt it will be over his remuneration…..Other reasons? Possibly….Budget? Maybe !…But not his own wage. 

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SmugasPosted on10:41 am - May 26, 2016

Sorry.  Meant to add, certainly for the particular fixture that I mentioned, for every ‘good’ fan that stays away, for every liitle’un that loves a day out to see their heroes compete 01  who will be left on the doorstep for this particular match there’ll be 3 more muppets desperate to take their place. 

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neepheidPosted on10:45 am - May 26, 2016

The Daily Record are getting serious heat from the angry bears for reporting on events outside Hampden after the cup final.
Which leads me to wonder- has Jackson’t nonsense report regarding 11 players injured finally stirred Mirror Group HQ to question a business strategy based on turning the Record into a Rangers fanzine? I’ve remarked previously on the stupidity of a strategy which writes off half of your potential demographic. So maybe somebody has got a grip on the situation, and reminded Jackson that he works for the Record’s owners, not Level5PR.
Meanwhile from Twitter, an amusing insight into how some bears view media freedom- and I thought they already had Rangers Radio, masquerading as BBC Sportsound and Clyde SSB

    Rangers To Blame ‏@54Beats44 Think Gers should plul up draw-bridge on MSM. Set up Rangers Radio, use Rangers TV & on-line via own media. Content 100% controlled

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AllyjamboPosted on10:57 am - May 26, 2016

DK: Mark, Mark, great news, Joey Barton has agreed to sign.

MW: That’s amazing, I didn’t think we could afford him.

DK: About that, Mark. I was thinking, it might be mutually beneficial if we paid your bonus over the next two years, I think that eventuality was in your contract.

MW: That was a BMW I arrived at Ibrox in to negotiated my contract, not a banana boat I’d sailed up the Clyde. I was a City Trader, you know, I know how to negotiate the best deal for me.

DK: OK, how about you take it over two years and we’ll throw in an extra 50 grand a year, let’s call it a doubling of your salary. That’ll look good, we win the cup, get into Europe, Joey Barton signs a big club type deal, and we announce, at the same time, you’re so good we are giving you an unsought after rise.

MW: Tell you what, Mr King, I’ll win you the cup, but after that, my Rangers (sic) duties are over until I get my half million pound bonus! Make sure it’s in my bank account before I get home from holiday! Oh, and did you notice the default clause I had my lawyer put into that contract?

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wottpiPosted on11:00 am - May 26, 2016

SMUGASMAY 26, 2016 at 10:30

I am under no illusion as to what next season may bring.
Of course what has been seen at my own club Hearts is that it is often the case that it is some of the loonies who often manage to bag the away tickets. So Police and Stewards will need to be on their toes.

I’m not a great fan of being totally ‘child friendly’, there has to be a wee bit of adult humour. 
However, as always I will be carefully choosing which games at Tynecastle to attend with my boy.

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alexander276Posted on11:38 am - May 26, 2016

Like Castothousands I am interested in the timeline of events at Armageddon.
I was gratified that the resources of the BBC allowed them to give us details:
16:51:48 – Final Whistle
16:51:58 – Pitch invasion begins
16:53:25 – Fans smash goalpost
16:54:54 – Rival fans clash
16:55:38 – Police horses on pitch
16:57:00 – Police line established

Their commentator actually said something along the lines of Rangers supporters are making their way on to the pitch at 3.52.27 on their clock. That was 54 seconds after the Hibs invasion was mentioned. So is 3.52.27 not a more relevant time (both sides on pitch) than when the cross bar broke (Traditional Scottish exuberance?)
What did the rival fans do between 3.52.27 and 16.54.54/ 3.54.29 when ‘rival fans clashed’. Take selfies?
Of course the BBC timeline is more compatible with the idea of 3 minutes of Hibs supporters traducing Rangers players before noble rescue efforts …
Thank goodness an independent commission under Gordon Smith will sort this out .

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CastofthousandsPosted on11:44 am - May 26, 2016

wottpiMay 26, 2016 at 09:58

“What football has to ask itself is why does the game create this ultra tribal reaction and what can they do about it.”
The answer to the first part of your question is publicity. We are all highly attuned to sense danger so when dangerous circumstances are presented to us we take notice.

Whilst I was trawling for Scottish Cup video I came upon much content concerning ‘football’s most dangerous rivalries’. The clip below is an exemplar.

What is particularly enlightening are the comments below. Fans from across the world try to outdo each other by emphasising just how uncontrolled their own particular brand of tribalism actually is and other fans being impressed by this.

I’ve never been impressed by hard man talk. Though never a thug myself, I grew up in one of the less salubrious suburbs of Glasgow. I’ve seen one or two ‘hard men’ out of jail. Hard men don’t tend to be the most eloquent of individuals; their product differentiator lies in their propensity to lurch immediately to action. People that talk hard usually aren’t that hard.

However it is tempting to talk hard to boost your own sense of unassailability. None of us wish to be physically abused and so acting the big man can give the impression to others that you should be left well alone. We all want to exude an element of ‘hard’ for that reason.

I was watching a Billy Connolly sketch about the terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport a few years ago. Another comedian had invoked irony when they referred to this incident as attacking the ‘soft underbelly’ of British society. Connolly himself induced uproarious laughter as he mimicked John Smeaton’s assault on a burning terrorist. He revelled in the hard image of his home town. The Glasgow hard man is an international brand.

Having a vitriolic rivalry is good for business.

If you want to solve a problem you first have to recognise what the problem is. The shipyards are all closed now. The days of men being made of steel are largely in the past. Glaswegians work in call centres now and are taught to treat their customers with respect. There are still some areas of deprivation in the city and across Scotland but hopefully these will be subsumed over time. All that will be left to fuel the vitriole is a cultural and religious history that is wilfully misunderstood.

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CastofthousandsPosted on12:04 pm - May 26, 2016

neepheidMay 26, 2016 at 10:45

“Set up Rangers Radio, use Rangers TV & on-line via own media. Content 100% controlled ”
54@beats44 is not familiar with the most efficient modes of the propaganda model, I would contend. Used in a totalitarian mode as he suggests, it is less effective than the free market mode.

The totalitarian mode (100% controlled) requires constant vigilance to ensure that no media outlet is off message. It also requires that the definition of ‘on message’ is carefully disseminated. The amount of bureacracy involved in operating the propaganda model in this mode is unviable and unenviable.

The free market mode however does away with much of the bureacracy. A culture is built up over a long period of what is acceptable and what is not. It is instilled primarily by respected information sources but recruits other cultural icons to act as landmarks in the cultural milieu. Anyone stepping away from the general on message template gets flak (a la Tom English recently). ‘Most favoured trading nation’ status might also be used to reign in journalists who stray too far from the party line. The real advantage of the free market mode of the propaganda model is that it has no sharp edges. Since the dictat is not set in stone, the obvious pattern of propaganda so clumsily illustrated in the totalitarian mode is not present.

One might admire 54@beats44 enthusiasm however I think he needs to look more closely at the lessons of history.

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YellohoosePosted on12:21 pm - May 26, 2016

“Most people agree that the vast majority of the Rangers support on Saturday conducted themselves well in face of a heartbreaking defeat.”

Er, apart from the smoke bombs, sectarian singing, flares and fighting with the police outside the stadium perhaps.

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:26 pm - May 26, 2016

A very good interview with Chris Davies, providing an insight into what a No 2 brings to a modern football club. An interesting and highly educational article.

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TrisidiumPosted on12:45 pm - May 26, 2016

On the Warburton situation, I agree that it is largely the business of only TRFC fans, but the ‘revelation’ by TRFC mouthpiece Keith Jackson about a salary increase is clearly a rushed response to social media chatter about his whereabouts. Even then, it is painfully inadequate, and like most hastily arranged excuses, raises more question than it answers.

No quotes, no reassurance for the fans or comment on the biggest match he has ever been involved in, no welcome message for Joey Barton, who himself never gets around to mentioning Warburton (although he does use an ambiguous ‘this manager’) in the press conference.

Further, the news that Warburton only left for his holiday on Wednesday fails to address the four days of silence after the cup final – although David Weir did tick that box yesterday – and his non-attendance at that press conference (which took place BEFORE Warburton left on his trip).

It is becoming clear that, whilst perhaps not a certainty to leave TRFC, Warburton has other irons in the fire, or is unhappy with some aspect of his employment.

My gut feeling, assisted by the foregoing, is that he is gone.

On a playing level, I don’t think that should be too alarming for the Bears.

Warburton has benefited greatly reputationally from McCoist syndrome – the reverse of Busby/Fergie syndrome.

Whilst Wilf McGuinnes, Dave Sexton, Davie Moyes and LVG were unfairly cast as losers in the wake of the success of their predecessors, Warburton has been elevated to the role of miracle-worker in the wake of the catastrophic failure of his.

He may well turn out to be the real deal, either at Ibrox or elsewhere, but I don’t think there is ample evidence to make that assessment right now. Anybody would have been better than McCoist, an earnest, hard-working but tragic figure who despite being a good political operator on behalf of the new club, was totally unsuited to the role of manager.

From that perspective, is Warburton any more gifted than people who have been connected with the TRFC job in the past: like Billy Davies, or Derek McInness, or Robbie Neilson, or even Kenny Shiels?

The social media flurry of questions asking about Warburton’s whereabouts may have died down, but the anxiety at Ibrox surrounding his future most definitely hasn’t. What speaks to this loudest? The silence of the lambs – again. 19

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John ClarkPosted on12:59 pm - May 26, 2016

I’ve just read the piece in today’s ‘Scotsman’ in which Barton spouts Bartonesque /Greenesque self-praise.
He has been well enough briefed, of course, to say things like ” Rangers are on 54 league titles, what a sweet way to do it [ win the league] would be to take your 55th league title next season.It is the greatest and most successful league title winning side in  world football.”
  As an old lag , of course, he might be specially pleased, if perhaps a little envious, to be employed by a convicted criminal who managed to stay out of jail. 
  Certainly,his  glib facility to repeat, and try to reinforce the ‘Big Lie’, will  endear him to his fellow convicted criminal of a chairman.

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jimboPosted on1:13 pm - May 26, 2016

Corrupt Official thanks for posting that link, I’ve been searching for it all morning, I began to read it yesterday but hadn’t time to finish it.

It gives a great insight into how top management go about their business behind the scenes.

Anthony Stokes has been putting it out there in several media outlets that he wants to be in the mix at Celtic next season.  Hopes that Brendan Rodgers saw his game in the SC (where he did play well).

Unfortunately for Anthony, according to Chris Davies the new assistant manager, when assessing a player they look at the last 20 games played.  Could be a wee bit tricky there.

But a hugely good read for fans of every club.

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woodsteinPosted on1:18 pm - May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016 at 12:45
“Even then, it is painfully inadequate, and like most hastily arranged excuses, raises more question than it answers.”
It is often said that “curiosity killed the cat,” as if cats were the most curiosity driven creatures on the planet. They are not, humans are.
We are still asking the questions, and if no answer or obvious excuses are given, why?

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futbolPosted on1:24 pm - May 26, 2016

Dropped in to see the latest thoughts on SFM and nearly had a fit when the banner across the top of the page read “Over 200 documents available”.  I thought the Panama papers, Charlotte Fakes’ USB drives, and an SFA laptop had been hooked up to SFM.Imagine my disappointment when I realised I’d misread it and it was an advert for “Over 200 documentaries”.

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wottpiPosted on2:18 pm - May 26, 2016

I don’t think we should be reading too much into the whereabouts of Warbs.

Most coaches only have a small window of opportunity for holidays these days given the transfer window and preparation for the new season.

The man has, by all accounts, been in at Murray Park at 06:00 most days and probably not had much time with his family being  they are still based down south.

He has told us he wants all his signings sorted by the return to training in around three weeks time on 18 June.

If there are any more deals to be done then talent spotting guru McParland can deal with that as he can take his holidays any time.

Warbs deserves a break and to keep his head down for a few weeks to recharge his batteries.

The strange thing is that for a man who moaned about respect all last season it has been a pretty poor show that the best thing to come out of Ibrox in terms of congratulating Hibs, the football club, its manager and team (as opposed to the fans) on their cup victory, has come from Weir the other day. Even then it appeared somewhat grudgingly sandwiched in a T’Rangers story re Barton.

I understand the disappointment, I understand the reluctance to say to much so as to avoid getting dragged into the issue of the pitch invasion. However the classy, dignified and respectful thing to do would have been to issue a short congratulatory statement.

From what I have seen of the man, my guess is that he would have been happy to do that on a ‘football only’ basis.

I may be wrong but I  can’t help but feel others have perhaps prevented him from doing so.

If he is getting dragged into that type of game then I can’t see him sticking around for too long.  His relationships with other mangers and ‘football people’ seems to be very important to him. He comes across as  too much of his own man to be dictated to by blazers with an agenda or a certain way of working, a la his departure from Brentford.

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